Artist Carolee Schneemann, the artist whose work relentlessly challenged and reframed cultural discourses and taboos around sex, identity and gender, has died at the age of 79.
Born in Philadelphia, Schneemann studied at Bard in New York, and would continually challenge assumptions regarding her gender as an artist, including a suspension from the school over painting nude self-portraits. Schneeman would still graduate, and would move to New York, where she became involved in the city’s experimental arts scene. Exploring performance works, she would challenge the viewer’s engagement with the female body, famously pulling a reel of text from her vagina to read aloud in public for her work Interior Scroll, while another performance, Up to and Including Her Limits suspended her naked from the ceiling of a gallery, swinging about to mark the walls with crayon.
Schneemann would continue to make challenging and confrontational work throughout her career, ultimately receiving the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2017. “I think I’m stubborn. In the beginning, I had no precedent for being valued,” she told the Guardian in 2015. “Everything that came from a woman’s experience was considered trivial. I wasn’t sure if my work would shift that paradigm or not, but I had to try.”
Performance artist Carolee Schneemann dies aged 79 [Guardian]